#starwarscanon – She’s Fast Enough For You
Note: This article contains potential spoilers for “Ring Race,” Bloodline, and “Scorched”
There are some amazing stories in the Star Wars canon that continue to be written, each one expanding our knowledge and understanding of the Star Wars universe at large. While each story is unique, every now and then, something comes up in these stories that becomes a common theme. It is almost as if one person or a group of people are guiding these stories in certain ways (read: the Lucasfilm Story Group).
These are subtle seeds of ideas that, on their own, do not seem significant, and they rarely have any significant impact to the current story, yet, if you follow the trail, these themes are slowly getting us used to certain ideas and concepts that are new, or were not a large part of the Legend’s stories. One of these elements: racing. More specifically, starship racing. We saw podracing in Episode I: The Phantom Menace but racing starships has begun to surface in various canon stories across all mediums. Let’s take a look at a few of these and what we can uncover in the Star Wars canon.
Hera and Fool’s Run
“But Hera’s a great pilot. If anyone can pull this off, she can.” – Ezra Bridger, “Ring Race”
An often overlooked set of canon stories, the comics that are included in Titan’s Star Wars Rebels Magazine, can provide an interesting look at the crew of the Ghost. While these stories generally do not have any significant impact on character development or the Rebels television series, there are things to be learned from them.
In the first issue of the US Publication of this magazine, the comic “Ring Race” (writer Martin Fisher, artist Bob Molesworth) puts the crew of the Ghost against Galus Vez, a Besalisk who has parts they need to make some repairs to the Ghost. The only way for them to obtain the parts is for Hera to beat Vez in a race on his own race course he calls Fool’s Run. While the details of the race are inconsequential to this article, it is interesting that, in this comic, we get one of our first looks at a galactic space race (be it a fair race or not).
When I first read through this comic, I thought nothing of it; however, things began to get more interesting as additional stories and information came about.
Greer Sonnel and The Gauntlet
When you turn to any section on Han Solo or the Millennium Falcon in canon reference material, you will generally find the same information. However, once you open Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, there is one little line slipped in that should have raised a few eyebrows: “Han Solo’s life took unexpected turns as he became… for a time – a successful racing pilot.”
We know of Solo’s gambling (particularly the famous game that won him the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian) and his chosen smuggling occupation, but this bit of info came as a surprise. Now, in all fairness, this information gives us insight into Han’s activities between Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode VII: The Force Awakens, so maybe it is not as surprising at this point, given the availability of information from this time period.
“You really think you’d enjoy the life of a racer? Bouncing around from one system to the next, working on ships, never knowing where you’re headed next?” – Han Solo, Bloodline
While Claudia Gray’s Bloodline is not about Han Solo, it does show us a bit of this side of Solo that was only briefly mentioned in The Visual Dictionary. Not only that, but Gray also includes a character in the book named Greer Sonnel, Leia’s assistant in the New Republic Senate, who is also an accomplished pilot and former racer.
Additional insight into Greer’s character can be followed in Delilah S. Dawson’s short story “Scorched” (Star Wars Insider #165) which takes place prior to the events of Bloodline. Greer flies in a race that is sponsored by Han Solo himself, and ends with him offering her a place on his racing team for a race called the “Five Sabers.”
Han Solo and the Dragon Void Run
Now that we have been made accustom to the idea of Han Solo as a racing pilot, how long has he been a fan of racing? The soon to be released Han Solo mini-series from Marvel comics follows Han in a period of time between Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In this series, Han goes on a mission for the Rebel Alliance which has him undercover in “Only the biggest and most infamous starship race in the galaxy! You know — the race Han has dreamt of winning his entire life.”
His entire life?
So it seems that Han’s racing, or at least his dreams of racing, have extended well before the events of A New Hope. It will be interesting to read this comic series to learn more about Han as a racer. Moreover, what does this mean for the development of Han’s character, more importantly, his backstory as will soon be told in the Star Wars canon?
Not only is this element of racing becoming more prevalent in the universe, but this shows you the subtle influence that is being felt by the story group across all genres of Star Wars canon stories. This continues to give us a sense that the storytelling is being carefully guided to give us one cohesive Star Wars to enjoy.
Have you run across any other mentions of starship racing in the Star Wars canon that were not mentioned here?
Let me know your thoughts by posting in the comments below. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also be found on Twitter: @starwarstce. You can find our coverage of #starwarscanon stories at our YouTube channel Star Wars: The Canon Explained.
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